For this week's blog we get to hear from our Musical Director/Co-Author of No Place Like Home Andrew Steele!
When my dear friend Soroya Rowley approached me and asked if I would be willing to help her write a musical I nearly lost my mind. I have dreamed of writing a musical since I was a little kid. I answered with a cool "Yeah, I'd love to." In reality I couldn't believe an opportunity like this was so easily within my reach.
Soroya and I have been making music together since the first week we met while both studying theater at USD. Since then we have been involved in many creative ventures together, both theatrical and musical. Not only do we dearly love each other as people, but we dearly love each other as artists. I am confident in saying that we have put this love into No Place Like Home and I am really excited to share it with people. Soroya has been working with Circle Circle dot dot since the beginning and, lucky for me, this opportunity for her to write came up. I am fortunate enough to have been taken along for the ride.
What makes this all even more serendipitous is that two of our colleagues from USD have been able to join us. Stacey Hardke and Taylor Wycoff, another two of my dearest friends, studied with Soroya and I at USD. Working together has created a huge network of support for this show. It feels so special to be working with these amazing talents 5 years after we graduated. I knew we all had a lot of art to give, but getting the opportunity to work on this piece together was something that I could only come up with in my dreams. Every rehearsal we have, I look around and feel so lucky and inspired to be doing the work that we are doing.
Speaking of inspiration, I have always been inspired by the kind of work that Circle Circle dot dot does. While at USD I developed a love for devised theater: Theater that is created through collaboration. Considering Circle Circle dot dot's commitment to community interview-based theater you might be able to see why I am in love with them. I can't imagine a better company to work with or for a better home for a story like No Place Like Home.
Not only am I in love with the company, I am in love with this story. Homelessness is such a widely talked about issue. Everyone has an opinion about it but I rarely see art tackling the issue. I am honored to be a part of the first piece of theater I have ever encountered that deals with homelessness.
The collaboration process is the lifeblood of this piece. When you put all of the members of the cast in a room together the energy is vibrant and tangible. This is visceral theater. Not overly complicated, not overly indulgent, just simplicity. Simply beautiful music along with simple human truths about perseverance, love, fear and what it means to find a home.
The show runs from May 23rd-June 7th. I really hope you can join us for what promises to be an amazing night of art. See you there!